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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

Algebra comes in handy

By Jim Mullen




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Pop quiz: How often do you use algebra, trigonometry and calculus as an adult? Most of us would say "never"! The folks who do use advanced math would say that without it, you wouldn't have cellphones and Wi-Fi and TV and weather satellites and GPS and Google and nuclear power and a gazillion other things that make modern life worth living. And for a change, both camps would be right.

Most people don't need to know advanced math, and the people that do have changed the world. Should every person who uses a smartphone also know how to design one? (Most of my friends can't even use one. "Who wants a phone that's smarter than I am?" one golf partner asked me.) Trying to teach every high school student advanced math is like saying every high school student should learn how to play piano concertos. While that may be a beautiful and worthwhile goal for an individual, it's a silly one for society at large. Some people have no talent and no desire. Some have both, but will never be very good. Some will just enjoy it. A very, very few will be very, very good. Mozart was playing and composing at 6 years old. Gee, how did he do that without going to high school? And if he had gone, would it have made him better or would it have bored him to tears? Would he have become a disciplinary problem?

So, why are we wasting our time teaching advanced math to everyone instead of just those who need it or want it? Because of the long-dead Space Race. OMG, the Russians launched Sputnik! The Space Race was on; let's improve those math scores. Anybody look at NASA's budget recently? The Space Race is over. The Russians are now our frenemies, so we'll just pay them to send our guys to space.

Just like the Pentagon is always fighting the last war, the education industry is always teaching the last lesson. In this case, that's the Space Race. Hurry! We need more engineers for Apple and Microsoft! And that is true; they're hiring all the foreign engineers they can get visas for. But guess what. Apple has $140 billion in cash on hand. If they want more engineers, let them pay to train them. And Facebook and Microsoft and all the rest. I would say the same thing to the NBA and the NFL. At least baseball pays for its farm teams. Our high schools and colleges are the NBA and NFL's farm teams, so they should pay the bills.

Now, here's the irony. What do almost all students, and a lot of teachers, do all day long and in their spare time? They use apps on their smartphones and tablets. They go to web pages. They buy things online and talk to their friends online. Is the federal government demanding that high schools teach all kids how to design and make an app? Does it demand teaching them how to write HTML code to create web pages? This is not math-heavy learning. It's about as difficult as learning how to get to the next level of one of the sophisticated computer games they play endlessly. No trig, no calculus, no algebra needed.

I just bought a highly reviewed utility app for my computer. It was designed to do a simple repetitive task automatically to save me a ton of time. When I went to download it for free, it said this program was designed by a 15-year-old kid in New Zealand, and did I want to send him a contribution for the effort? I sure did. Of course, it could have really been designed by a 45-year-old guy in Brooklyn who knew he'd get more money posing as 15-year-old. But it works, so who cares?

What is your 15-year-old doing right now? Studying computer programming, or doing the algebra homework he won't remember five years from now? Is your high schooler playing computer games, or designing them?

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment by clicking here.

Jim Mullen is the author of "It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life" and "Baby's First Tattoo."


Previously:


You are what you plant
Fasten your bucket-list seat belt
The Museum of Modern Body Art
Not at home on the range
WE'RE HAVING A BABY!
My Little Pony cookbook
Musings on the mutability of time
The envelope, please!
The car of the future
Where's Gutenberg when you need him?
You are what you watch
Today's special: Cacophony, with a side order of the flu
His and her movies
WARNING: The local gym may be hazardous to your health
The Starbucks Gap
Meat-free holiday about as happy as a heart attack
All I don't want is another gadget
We went to the fiscal cliff and all i got was this stupid t-shirt
Some years, you just want to stay home
The first Thanksgiving family feud
Spamming the globe
Suburban mall is an endangered species
Worthless heist: Only in the world fine arts
The debate debate
Looking for a shortcut to penury? Buy a car
The pros and cons of a chicken tattoo
Does saying 'no' make us bad grandparents?
Crying 'foul' over ballpark proposals
College loans and job-search groans
That buzzing you hear is the sound of time flying
Too much of anything can get annoying
Five billionth in line for the throne
WARNING! This article may cause drowsiness
The mail and email of the species
Jotting down the un-bucket list
Bees deliver stinging fashion critique
Have a tissue issue? Help is a phone call away
My guy's guys are better than your guy's guys
Divorce, Facebook style
Millionaires are a dime a dozen
What not to name the baby
Technology is a wonderful thing -- when it works
A bad case of the wedding bill blues
Of cupcakes, teenage moms and crazy nuptials
FOOD FIGHT!
Rolling Stoned
Caterwauling over death of books is premature
Ask your doctor if this column is right for you
Could shopping be any more inconvenient?
Thanks for the lack of memories
Help wanted: Teenage life coach with all the answers
Sorry, wrinkles are not legal proof of age
Dead mice tell no tales
GOING PAPERLESS -- PRICELESS!
Should bad behavior be rewarded?
The perplexing problems of the rich and famous
Do these glasses make my gut look big?
More expensive by the dozen
In one year and out the other
Thank heaven it's Black Friday
Planning for the long term ---- tomorrow
READING THIS WILL MAKE YOU THIN AND HAPPY!
The Seven Secrets of Success
It's tough living off the gridIt's tough living off the grid
How not to clean the houseIt's tough living off the grid The yellow badge of cowardice
Any way you slice it
Home sweet homeschooling
Don't Head for the Borders
Money ball
Golf and death go hand in hand
Tune in, turn off, unplug
The radar curtain
Is Steve Jobs clouding my privacy?
The gift of garbage
Johnny Intern, Ph.D.
Twenty-foot fences make good neighbors
You must remember this…
TV experts and real news
Hey caller, where's the fire?
My sad cushy life
Pacemaker, don't you mess around with me
Big Brother is skinny
Flight of the snowbirds
This HDTV needs child support
Dear Future: Where's the dome?
Not so elementary, my dear Watson
A vacation revolution
Your call is very unimportant to us
Life: There's no app for that
Bam! Practical kitchen magic
Poisoning myself
Ban Huck Finn in schools --- even the sanitized version!
$38,000 for traffic and weather updates
2011 Predictions: Nostradamus was a hack
2010: A year of annoying junk
Why do bad things happen to stupid people?
Moving on from movie theaters
Money never sleeps, but it does pass out
President Trump kept it classy
Stalking your college kid won't change a thing
Putting my life in ‘Jeopardy’
Mo' government, mo' problems
iLostIt
Dressed for excess
Expert tease
The mysteries of Jersey
‘You are a toilet, where am I?’
Don't we all cheat at the game of life?
What happens when I forget where Google is?
Don't let the doorman hit you on the way out
Picasso fiasco
Purple (hair) ‘Daze’
Let me hear your body talk
Working from work
Babies deserve clean restrooms, too
3-year-old bear-killers are a thing of the past
Money-making ideas on the fly
Collecting and hoarding
Chain of fools
Please come pick up your acting awards, ESPN commentators, you've earned them
You've been superpoked by the U.S. gov't
e-Readin', e-Writin' and e-Rithmatic
A pose by any other name
Warning: Column contains 2010 spoilers
‘He loves only gold, only gold’
Think about direction, wonder why …
Flushing your money down a diamond-studded toilet
More like ‘wack’ Friday
The good, the ad and the ugly
The desert of the real
Let books be large and in charge
I was insulting people way before the Internet
GPS drill sergeant: Left, right, left!
Butterfly in the sky, you make winds go twice as high
Music to my ears it's not
You don't light up my life
Fair or not: Country living is far from ‘Little House’
A parable for the ‘ages’
Top 100 Cable news stories of the century
Green dumb
A developing story
Thinking outside the lunch box
What's good for the goose is good for the scanner
Newspapers will survive, but network TV?
A really big show of generation gaps
When pigs flu
The reports of our decline have been greatly exaggerated
Mergers and admonitions
Invest in gold: little, yellow, different
Stuck in Folsom Penthouse
Collecting karma
Setting loose the creative ‘juice’
It's all in the numbers
You're damaging your brain with practical skills
The real rat pack
The unspeakable luxury of the Park-O-Matic
Gross-ery shopping



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